Discover some of the most amazing stories in coinage history through a wide range of awe-inspiring exhibits and stunning displays at The Royal Mint Experience.
Explore the Exhibition
The Royal Mint Experience has some of the most unique and rare coins in British history on display, providing visitors with a unique look back in time through the coins and memorabilia of yesteryear.
There are six different zones to explore at your leisure and our hosts will be on hand to answer any questions you may have along the way. The zones available for you to explore are:
The Royal Mint and the community
Explore the origins of The Royal Mint alongside our 1,100-year history, our links with the Tower of London, and the story behind our move to Wales.
Our exhibition starts right back in the 9th century with a look at some of The Royal Mint’s oldest and most notable objects, beginning with a silver penny of Alfred the Great which was struck at the time of the resettlement of London after its occupation by the Vikings.
From there we take you on a journey through the ages, looking at how coins were first produced, the involvement of Sir Isaac Newton as Master of the Mint, the commemorative medal produced for Elizabeth I, and how The Royal Mint moved from the Tower of London to Tower Hill before moving to Llantrisant where it resides today.
The Royal Mint and the world
Did you know that we have produced coins and medals for more than 100 countries across the world? Find out all about our worldwide presence in this globetrotting part of the exhibition.
Our journey continues by looking at The Royal Mint’s expansion into global currency production and the history of The Sovereign. From its introduction in 1489, as instructed by Henry VII, to its modern-day iterations, The Sovereign remains one of the world’s most iconic coins.
Take a look at its incredible history along with how The Royal Mint has become the world’s leading export mint, often producing coins for more than 30 different countries each year. This also included branch mints across the globe in countries such as Australia, South Africa and India.
Learn more about the detailed processes involved in producing coins, the work that goes into it, and the history behind the United Kingdom’s coinage.
Coins are valuable historical artefacts that can illuminate the personality of a nation, focusing on art and religion to the technology and politics of the time.
How a country chooses to represent itself on its coinage is testimony to what it values and is a window into the era in which it was made.
The coins produced by The Royal Mint offer important insights into not only the UK’s history not but also that of many other countries around the world.
The other side of The Royal Mint
There is a lot more to The Royal Mint than just coins. Take an eye-opening look at our wide range of fascinating military, sporting and commemorative medals.
Medal making has long played an important role at The Royal Mint, linking the organisation with significant moments in national and international history. This includes the historic London 2012 Olympic Games, for which The Royal Mint was honoured to produce the winning medals.
In addition to these medals, The Royal Mint has also been responsible for producing official government seals since the early twentieth century, including the Great Seal of the Realm – one of the highest symbols of the monarch’s authority.
From blank to bank
Starting life as a plain piece of metal, every Royal Mint coin must undergo a dramatic transformation before it reaches its finished form.
While they may be familiar objects that we often take for granted, producing coins is a very complex process and the range of processes and skills involved will surprise many people. Every one of the millions of coins struck every year must meet very strict standards relating to composition, weight, thickness and design.
The Royal Mint prides itself on mass-produced accuracy. In this section we look at the full coin-making process from design, to engraving, to metal production and the Trial of the Pyx.
The meaning of coins
The familiar loose change in our pockets is full of hidden meaning. Uncover the many different roles and traditions behind the coins we use every day.
Coins hold clues to our identity as a nation and carry a deeper significance than their face value. For centuries, these small objects have played a part in every aspect of daily life, from music and literature to folklore and legends.
Outside of its use as currency, coins have been given to celebrate a birth, hidden in Christmas puddings, buried in time capsules and placed in a bride’s shoe for good luck. It is these customs, together with hundreds more, that demonstrate how coins can represent so much more than money.
Coins and collecting
Discover more about the appeal and traditions of coin collecting – a hobby which captivates people of all ages.
Collecting coins is a pastime for people from all walks of life across the globe. Originally known as the ‘hobby of kings’, coins have been collected by royal figures, such as Prince Henry, the son of James I, Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, and King Farouk of Eygpt.
Today, the hobby of coin collecting is accessible to all. In this part of our exhibition we explore some of the rarest and most sought-after coins since collecting them became a hobby.